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    House Obamacare bill won’t fix healthcare system, doctors say

    Physician groups are sharply criticizing Thursday’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), saying the bill would reduce or eliminate healthcare coverage for millions of Americans.

     

    In case you missed it: Congress swings and misses on healthcare reform efforts

     

                The bill, which House leadership sees as fulfilling its pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare, was approved by a vote of 217 to 213. No Democrats voted in favor of the legislation. It now goes to the U.S. Senate, where most policy analysts believe it will be substantially revised.

                The House bill would make sweeping changes to the healthcare marketplace created by Obamacare. Among these are:

    ·      Allowing states to opt out of the Obamacare requirement that insurers cover “essential health benefits” such as hospitalization, pregnancy and maternity care and prescription drugs.

    ·      Allowing states to opt out of Obamacare’s community rating requirement that insurers charge the same rates to all individuals in a given region, regardless of their health status. In states choosing to do this, insurers could charge a person more if he or she had gone more than two consecutive months without healthcare insurance.

    ·      Ending the financial penalty for individuals who choose to go without health insurance

    ·      Ending the expansion of Medicaid benefits included in Obamacare. States allowing the expansion received federal money to cover more of their residents. The AHCA would freeze enrollments under the new rules as of Jan. 1, 2020.

    ·      Using age, rather than income, to determine the amount of tax credits provided to people buying healthcare insurance on the state or federal exchanges

     

    In addition, the bill would repeal two tax hikes imposed on upper-income individuals and families under Obamacare and used to help pay for some of the legislation’s benefits—one on investment income, and one on Medicare taxes. It would also  allocate $123 billion for states to use in establishing high-risk pools to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

    Next: Medical associations sound off

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    • ncalmd@------.com
      While I agree that the House bill won't fix healthcare, what's your point? Are you suggesting "Obamacare" fixed healthcare? Frankly, I think the Republican's were idiots for not letting Obamacare continue its death spiral. At that point, perhaps the physicians who offered their blind support coupled with their partisan denial syndrome, to Obomacare, might actually leave their partisanship aside as we attempt to address potential solutions to a system that has become hopelessly burdened with legal and bureaucratic costs.
    • Anonymous
      Count me as another physician who is not surprised that organized medical leaders are opposed to any change from Obamacare - the AMA was a big backer of Obama's plan. I am more interested in the opinions of physicians who actually take care of patients for a living than I am from the executive suites of the medical organizations. As another respondent stated, until we incentivize personal responsibility, we will not solve the access to health care issue. By rewarding irresponsible behavior, you get more of it. My suggestion is to have Medicaid count as income - might cut down on the amount of "free" money that people get back on their income tax - but fair is fair. Then, give physicians a charitable tax credit for the difference between the customary and usual charge, and what the government remits under Medicaid/Medicare - if physicians are doing "mandatory charity" by accepting Medicaid/Medicare, they should at least get credit for their charity. For the uninsured, the physician/practice gets a tax credit for the service rendered, and the uninsured get an income levy for the amount of care given to them. But to continue the current system, in which it makes sense to a 16 year old to get pregnant and thus have guaranteed government money coming in to support her and her kid(s)is to encourage people to have real working people give them a free ride in life - this is blatantly unfair.
    • amperrymd@------.com
      Well now we know what our "leaders" think. Which is why they stopped leading me 8 years ago when they signed on to Obamacare. Obamacare saved me about $600/year in dues to the AMA and ACP.
    • Mcr1219@------.com
      We doctors who actually make a living seeing patients don't say or think this way, especially the ever shrinking pool of PCPs who take the brunt of every crazy idea that comes our way and starts somewhere at a higher level populated by non practicing physicians or business people.None of the plans is ideal but Obama plans are not what politicians make it sound like.They are not affordable, require a lot of administrative work on the physician part which adds to the increasing expenses of the medical office, and to this day they lack transparency .Many of us don't even know all that we need to know about the Trump proposed plan so how can you say that we oppose the new health care plan?.
    • Waynebrotzman@------.com
      Please do not headline this article as "Drs say...". First off speak to real doctors not those who run the AMA OR ABIM OR AOA. They never will and never have spoken for us. If they had actual medical offices and patient schedules and really spoke to the the consumers they would sing a different tune
    • Anonymous
      As far as I can tell the AHCA is pretty bad, but please don't portray what the AMA or AAFP has to say as somehow representing doctors.
    • Anonymous
      I have spent years of not being able to operate on people that "had coverage" under Obamacare. Most patients that needed subsidies to get their "health coverage" for little or no cost obviously could not afford a $2500-$5,000 deductible if they actually needed something more than a primary care visit. For those that could afford the deductible, there was 1 (one) hospital by 2016 that accepted exchange plans so I still had no place take those patients for surgery. WIth that type of limited access, the wait to see the surgeons at the one Dallas hospital that accepted the exchange plan is getting longer.
    • Anonymous
      Try a $14,000 deductible as it is for my family. You've got it right. Can't tell you how many ppl go without because they can't afford their useless " coverage". A 55 year old receptionist where I worked lost her affordable plan because it didn't include pre-natal care/delivery.--Like she's going to pull a Janet Jackson!And kids on folks' insurance till 26? That only works if their parent has a job-- or a job with health insurance. Ppl are paying for colonoscopies they don't want or already had. We have the highest prevalence of STD's ( excuse me, we call them STI's now) EVER, in large part because birth control is "free" and nobody thinks twice before getting between the sheets with someone they've just met at the frat party. Why bother with "raincoats" when the chicks already have "umbrellas" and Johnny juniors aren't likely to happen? Get people a job. Teach them to prioritize ( i.e. pay for your own birth control before getting a tattoo, condoms before latte's), put money in the HSA before the trip to Turks and Caicos or unlimited data plan)tell johnny that it's called rape to have sex with anyone that's under the influence, get married before having children, don't snowboard if you can't afford the consequences-- at the very least, don't stop in the middle of the frickin' hill where you'll get hit--, eat healthy, exercise moderately-- get up and move. We want the insurance for the catastrophic cancer diagnosis that could happen to any of us. Let Price open up insurance across state lines, let your musician association barter a deal with an insurance plan you can afford, you'll see premiums go down. Let docs see Medicaid patients for cash pay-- they gladly would when no strings attached. Investigate Planned Oarenthood before they get any more $$$-- sorry, but "dry paps" ,as one of my pt's described she had done, don't count as cervical cancer screening! Check their statistics!! And finally, People don't understand that the more layers of bureaucracy you put between the dollars given by the taxpayer and the recipient of care, the less there is for that care. It's like watering my lawn at the top of a grassy hill--the bottom of the hill barely gets wet. The grass goes brown until it blows away in the wind.
    • jkhamlin@------.com
      Jeffrey: You're pretty clueless about healthcare. Not sure how you got this job. These so called "physician groups" are made up of an extreme minority of ivory tower, mostly non practicing physicians. They rarely, if ever, represent physicians. They almost always shill for the fringe left.
    • Anonymous
      Agree. Perhaps Jeffrey is new and naive. He may think that getting quotes from the leaders of physician organizations is good research technique. Let us educate him. Jeffrey, Go get coffee in the doctors' lounges. Cold call docs at their offices from Cheboygan county to Wayne county Michigan. Know that the AOA is now run by a Med school Dean, not a real practicing doctor. Most real practicing doctors can no longer afford the time away from their offices to attend meetings and rub elbows with the politicians. "24 million people are going to lose coverage " is a load of crap and a line that could only come from someone who is being spoon fed what to say and who has never read the bill and who is not taking care of patients. I sat in a lecture given by a Med school dean. He was supposed to give the history of medicine and medical insurance. Instead, we were treated to some pathetic word salad that ended with "the reason you all don't like the ACA is because you watch too much Fox News"--- AS IF THESE DOCS HAD TIME TO WATCH TV. I'm not sure who he was convincing with such a statement. Jeffrey, do you want to stir the pot? Do your research and expose these so-called "leaders". I get $800 /Year stolen from me by the AOA because they hold my Board Certification hostage until I pay the ransom. Do a story on THAT!!
    • topboxdoc3@------.com
      I agree 100% with JKHAMLIN. This publication is so far leftist that it is froth with discrimination and bias at all levels. Call it like it is JK.

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